Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) on Government of Guyana UPR Consultations

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The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) welcomes the commitment of the Guyana government to host consultations on issues related to matters of law reform on sexual orientation and gender identity, as part of its obligations to report back to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on these and other recommendations by September 2012. 


Logo

However, we are disappointed that the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon, misled the Guyanese public that the focus of these consultations is on "decriminalization of same-sex unions," as reported by Demerara Waves. The Cabinet Secretary, as well as the Presidential Advisor on Governance and the cabinet sub-committee on governance, should fully well know that same-sex unions, or "gay marriage" as one newspaper headline has already indicated, are not the subject of the state' obligations which are presently being considered under Guyana' UPR.

We are disappointed that such a high-ranking government official would misuse, whether deliberately or unwittingly, the critical politics of language to whip up public hysteria with such snide references to fearful notions of "gay marriage" Having identified itself as the facilitators of this process, the government's actions raise questions as to whether its intentions to consult are genuine, and whether it can be trusted to lead this process. We therefore recommend a more inclusive framework which includes the parliamentary opposition and can also minimize partisan positions when these reforms reach the National Assembly.
Also troubling are Dr. Luncheon's statements that, quoting Demerara Waves,

"we have the remaining months of this year to conclude the consultations, summarise what comes from these consultations and to present those findings as they are grouped and formulated as the State's policy on these three matters." SASOD would like to make its position unequivocally clear, that consultation does not mean referendum, and reiterate our stated position that the Guyana constitution is the ultimate guide on matters of citizen participation in decision-making. As Article 13 states, "the principal objective of the political system is to establish an inclusionary democracy by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens and their organizations in the management and decision-making processes of the State with particular emphasis on those areas of decision- making that directly affect their well-being."

The key stakeholders of this consultative process are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Guyanese citizens as these discriminatory laws affect our everyday lives and lived experiences. Our communities and organisations must therefore be able to manage and take centre stage in this process as these decisions affect our identities and citizenship and our views must be heavily weighted.
Guyana formally started its UPR process at the United Nations (UN) in 2010.

The UN Human Rights Council recommended that the state repeal all laws which discriminate against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. These include sections 351, 352 and 353 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act Chapter 8:01 which penalize consensual forms of intimacy between adult men in private with prison sentences ranging from two years to life imprisonment, and section 153 (1) (xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act Chapter 8:02 which criminalises cross-dressing. After a targeted police crackdown in February 2009 where seven persons who were born biologically male were arrested for wearing female attire, four of those persons and SASOD filed a suit against the state challenging the constitutional validity of these discriminatory laws. The case is presently before the court where the Attorney General is representing the government in defence of these laws on which it now seeks to consult to determine its position.
ENDS

see a previous post on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch 

Guyana seeks public opinion on controversial laws ..............

on the discussion and also this video of a television program as well:



Many are questioning locally when is our democracy going to at least have an open and honest discourse about homosexuality in general (apart from the consultations behind the scenes) and on buggery and the laws that punish consenting adults? When we see other Caribbean neighbours discussing issues far more maturely, such as school girl alleged coercion, St Lucia had a debate where homosexuality was suggested to be added as a curriculum subject in schools yet some years ago a book on our home economics curriculum that just mentioned homosexual relationships as a family unit alongside heterosexual ones nearly led to anarchy.

Let us also remember the 100 days has passed for this new administration and no sign of any look of a review as promised by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller save and except for one of her own in the form of Member of Parliament Damian Crawford who says it is unlikely that it will happen while poking fun at the idea of his own boss at a function, see more HERE on that including the video news clip from CVM TV.


Peace and tolerance


H

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Columbia University professor Dr Robert Spitzer Retracts Infamous ‘Ex-Gay’ Study

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Retired psychiatrist and Columbia University professor Robert Spitzer has retracted a much-criticized 2001 study that has been used for years by anti-gay activists to buttress their claims that gay men and lesbians can be “cured” of their homosexuality through therapy.



In the controversial study, Spitzer (photo) claimed that some “highly motivated” LGBT people could become straight. His retraction came in an article about the fringe “ex-gay” movement in the American Prospect. In an interview, Spitzer asked the author, Gabriel Arana, to print a retraction of the 2001 study so that he “wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.”



Since its publication, the study has been one of the major weapons wielded by anti-gay groups, which frequently cite it as “proof” that LGBT people choose to be gay and can thus change their sexual orientation. At the heart of this argument is the belief that homosexuality is an unnatural deviation from normal sexual development, a form of mental disorder.



The ex-gay movement, according to Arana, “has relied on the Spitzer study as the single piece of objective evidence that therapy can work.”

Ironically, Spitzer, who is now 80, was one of the psychiatrists who pushed the American Psychiatric Association to stop classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder, a step the organization took in 1973. His 2001 study came as a shock and disappointment to many, and it received a storm of criticism over its suspect methodology and design.

Participants had been referred to Spitzer by ex-gay therapy practitioner groups like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and Exodus International. Their claims were self-reported, and Spitzer did not compare participants to a control group. Yesterday, Spitzer told Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College, that he “has regret for what he now considers to be errant interpretations” of study participants’ reports. He also said that he had “second thoughts” about the study and now believes that “his conclusions don’t hold water.”




“I actually had great difficulty finding participants,” Spitzer told Arana in the American Prospect. “In all the years of doing ex-gay therapy, you’d think [Joseph] Nicolosi would have been able to provide more success stories. He only sent me nine patients.” (Nicolosi is a clinical psychologist who practiced ex-gay therapy and helped found NARTH.)

Ex-gay therapy, also known as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, has been widely discredited by the scientific community. Most strikingly, in 2006, the American Psychological Association (APA) stated: “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.” The APA added, “Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”

Since his study’s publication, Spitzer has tried to make it clear that he didn’t want it used to justify discrimination against the LGBT community, and he emphasized that he did not think that most LGBT people could become heterosexual. Nevertheless, the study became a major part of the anti-gay movement’s arsenal, with claims that here, at last, was “proof” that “all” gay people could become straight through prayer or therapy. Spitzer attempted to point out over the years that such change was either highly unlikely or that anti-gay organizations had misused his research.

It’s not the first time anti-gay groups have used suspect studies or misused legitimate ones to further anti-LGBT sentiment.

In January, Seton Hall professor Theodora Sirota issued a statement taking NARTH’s Rick Fitzgibbons to task for using one of her studies to oppose adoption by same-sex couples. Sirota said that no conclusions about LGBT parents or the “fitness” of LGBT parents can be drawn from her findings. Fitzgibbons has yet to correct his own article or remove the Sirota citation from it

Several other legitimate researchers have publicly asked anti-gay organizations stop distorting their research. Now, with Spitzer’s on-the-record retraction, it remains to be seen whether they will stop using his 2001 study to justify their claims.

Don’t hold your breath.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

'Jamaicans For Justice doing church's job' — says Rev Al Miller

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Restorative advocate and anti gay pastor Reverend Al Miller is at it again folks this time in a fit of jealousy it seems on the face of it he has come out to say that the goodly Jamaicans For Justice, JFJ is doing the church's job and if one reads the Jamaica observer report on the issue he sounds as if he is saying the JFJ is not fit to do it and it should be him and his church or the church in general. 


Of course he always seems to want to grab attention to himself and the media responds by saying out of the park statements and positions at times, here I would have thought that he would have wanted to have joined the goodly folks at JFJ instead of complaining that they are doing the church's job, if this is not a theocratic thinking move on his part then I do not know what is. Similarly we saw the gentleman also in another forum recently as reported on faith based organizations where he also hinted that they are not morally qualified to be advocating for HIV/AIDS interventions etc.

As in a Gleaner story REPRESENTATIVES OF UNAIDS recently were faced with the dilemma of how to enlist the support of local faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the HIV/AIDS prevention campaign without violating the institutions' doctrinal principles. A major stumbling block, which was identified in a recent consultation between church leaders and UNAIDS officials, is the traditional association of the HIV/AIDS messaging with gay-rights issues.
The views of the clerics are summed up in the comments by churchman Major Richard Cooke: "The perception is that the homosexuals have used AIDS to push their agenda. Allow the Church to speak to the church. When we feel that our help is linked to a gay agenda we do not want to be a part of it." The Rev Al Miller echoed similar sentiments: "Perception becomes reality. Changing the face of the historical sellers of the message of HIV prevention is an important and strategic move. We will, therefore, have to identify faces that can have broader appeal in order for us to be successful."

In other words, the clerics are suggesting that the gay-rights agenda has stigmatised the HIV/AIDS prevention programme, and, consequently, has alienated the religious community.

Ironic twist

This is an ironic twist, as it is the removal of stigma and discrimination from the HIV/AIDS prevention programme that is the goal of the local and international health-advocacy agencies. In fact, that was the purpose of the recent consultation between representatives of UNAIDS and FBOs. The discussions were informed by the findings of a Ministry of Health (MOH)-commissioned study of leaders of FBOs about the level of stigma and discrimination towards the most-at-risk populations (MARPs) in their organisations, including gay men, sex workers, prisoners and people living with HIV (PLHIV).

The study, which is based on a survey of 41 FBO leaders in 35 denominations across eight parishes, found that senior clerics considered it their "responsibility to uphold moral values and hold society accountable to those values." The findings continued: "Issues of faith and belief go deep and most FBOs have defined principles to which they adhere and which they consider divine and, therefore, are not open to discussion. A related finding is the faulty association of HIV/AIDS with sexual promiscuity (which is not always the case) by some church leaders and congregations.

Al Miller points to the dilemma: "If we are going to solve the problem, we cannot create another problem in order to solve it. We have to separate the issues of stigma and acceptance of behaviour. You have to be careful that you are not selling that 'this is good, this is normal, this is an acceptable lifestyle'."



more HERE from Gay Jamaica Watch


However with the JFJ matter here is the Observer report:

OUTSPOKEN Kingston pastor Reverend Al Miller yesterday criticised the church for allowing human rights groups to outdo it in the fight against injustice in the society.

Using local human rights body Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) as his reference, Miller said the church and not JFJ should be leading the charge

"Jamaicans for Justice are doing what the church ought to be doing. It is not their call [but] I thank God for them," the pastor told his congregants at Fellowship Tabernacle during the Easter Sunday service yesterday.

"It is us, it is us who are supposed to be out there, not Jamaicans for Justice," he argued.

Miller's remarks were made after the church offered up prayers for the family of 26-year-old Socrates Johnson who was fatally shot by the police on Clifton Road off Chisolm Avenue on Wednesday. The reverend said the family of the slain man, who are members of his church, were still trying to come to grips with his death. He said he, too, was still in shock as he had spoken with Johnson just an hour before his death.

According to reports from the Constabulary Communication Network, Johnson who is from an Upper Waltham Avenue, Kingston 11 address was fatally shot by the police at around three o'clock. The matter has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and is being investigated by the Bureau of Special Investigations.

JFJ was among several civil organisations that mounted a peaceful protest outside the offices of the Ministry of National Security on Oxford Road about two weeks ago, to register its concerns about the increasing number of police killings across the island. Twenty-nine persons were killed by police during controversial operations last month, triggering outrage from citizens, JFJ and Amnesty International. The incidents also arrested the attention of Security Minister Peter Bunting.

In a discussion with the Jamaica Observer following the sermon yesterday, Miller registered his own infuriation.

"The ones who are charged with the responsibility for protecting us, cannot be the ones who are destroying us. Something is wrong," said Miller.

He made it clear, however, that he was not bashing the security forces for doing their job and was keen to point out that extrajudicial killing was just one area of injustice in the society.

"I am not into police bashing, because the police have a difficult task in a difficult society because of what we have allowed to develop," he said. "But at the same time, they cannot do right wrongly and we cannot encourage that."

The "we" he referred to extends to the wider society, but Miller, who headed the National Transformation Programme under the previous government, said it was the church's responsibility to fight injustice.

"The issue of justice is one of the main responsibilities of the church, because justice is one of the major pillars of society and because of our commitment to people and particularly to the poor and to the oppressed, we have to stand up and be a voice for justice [and] for truth," he told the Observer.

"We must be prepared to more than just talk about it or feel bad about it, we must be prepared to act," the reverend said.

"The churches are playing a fantastic role in many areas of society, but certainly in the area of justice, there is a lot more that needs to be done. There should be a stronger and more consistent voice against every form of injustice wherever it pushes up it's head," added Miller.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II

Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time




(2014 protests New York)


Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.


See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled


Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Do you think effeminate men put themselves at risk by being "real" in public?

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide

Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration. The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men. The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed. At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Information & Disclaimer

lgbtevent@gmail.com

Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.


Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.

What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311


Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

This Day in History

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